One of the attitudes I find myself coming up against as an older worker is the idea that only Gen Z “gets” technology.
Several times I’ve been asked if I know what Microsoft Office is, or have I ever seen how to use Adobe Premiere Pro to make a video?
It makes me feel like I’m parked in my bath chair on the seaside promenade in Bognor Regis, rugged up in a blanket with a thermos of cocoa while sympathetic passers by ask my nurse “Would he like a biscuit”?
The fact that I’ve always been an early adapter to the latest way of getting things done seems to pass over some people’s heads.
I was, I believe, in the last intake of broadcasting cadets with Radio New Zealand to be taught actual tape splicing, you know, with razor blades and sticky tape.
We had by then already moved on to reel-to-reel editing and carts to play grabs during new bulletins and programs, and years after that the first digital editing programs arrived, which are now even more flexible and useful.
Hell, I once covered devastating floods in Fiji armed with nothing but an iPhone.
I was able to file for television, radio and online with just that black mirror in my hand and a fair amount of inventiveness.
So, to have people wonder out loud if I’d be more comfortable with rotary phones, a desk calendar and a Filofax for my contacts can be a little insulting.
Older, or perhaps we should say “senior” workers have a lot to offer, and we are by no means the scared-of-the-future technophobic caricature some might like to think we are.
Case in point, I’m looking to work in communications, where social media is massively important.
There’s often been an assumption that I have little background with this because of my age.
I like to say I’m actually a 20 something, just with decades of experience.
Today I made a little video about going to the local café with my wife to buy toasted baguettes in the middle of Melbourne’s fifth Covid lockdown, just to show off that I can in fact tell a story on social media.
And of course to support a local small business In These Difficult Times.
I used Adobe Spark video, although I am also familiar with Premiere Pro and Premiere Rush, these are all great and quite intuitive video programs.
The process was pretty straightforward, I shot some videos and photos on our trip using my iPhone 7s and an Osmo Mobile 3 handheld gimbal.
When we got back home I was able to edit them very quickly on my phone into a short narrative, added some text, put a cheery music bed underneath and then post it to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
I’ve also been using Spark Social and Photoshop recently to make some pretty decent looking social media posts.
With all the templates, logos, text options and branding tools already in these programs, there’s really no excuse not to produce professional results every time.
Next time you’re on a selection panel and someone from Gen Y or earlier is in front of you, don’t assume they haven’t adapted to the latest technology; and even if they haven’t yet, they can easily be taught.
Hire for attitude and experience, you can teach them the skills later if needed.